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Social Security from US

96 posts in this topic

 

What you're describing with ACH transfers from U.S. accounts to BKK Bank's New York center enroute to your Thailand BKK Bank account can be done exactly the same with pretty much any U.S. bank account that allows domestic ACHs.

 

And as for BKK Bank and their New York routing, it is probably more economical than most or any traditional international wire transfer. But BKK Bank New York does charge a sliding scale fee for all but the smallest of transfers, and then BKK Bank Thailand charges a 0.25% commission, minimum 200 and maximum 500 baht, on the incoming funds. Their exchange rate is going to be pretty much BKK Bank's standard TT rate, which usually is middle of the pack for Thai banks.

 

So if you're not going to use a no-fee, fee-reimbursing U.S. ATM card, then BKK Bank New York is probably the next best way to move funds from the U.S. to Thailand. But, it's hardly fee-free. And you can use exactly the same route just as well with most other ACH-enabled U.S. banks/cards as you can with Amex Bluebird.

 

I don't what burr you have in your saddle there TallGuy. Your tone is really over the top and out of place. Take a chill pill please.

I never said Nor Implied that ACH transfers could not be done by other American Banks. It is common knowledge that ACH is a everyday method of transferring money between American Banks. You seem rather proud of stating the obvious. You also do not seem to be able to read well. I said that I could not detect any charges at either end for this service implying that there could be. They are just not obvious as these charges are not broken out in the line item Online View of my accounts. Plus Bluebird does not charge for a lot of services and to the best of my knowledge does not charge for this ACH service.

You seem to project a negative attitude towards AMEX Bluebird. At the same nothing indicates that you use Bluebird.

Overall you seem to have a societal interaction problem. Therefore in the future please refrain from addressing me. Please consider counsling as your sour kneejerk style of communicating may be indicative of mental health problems.

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ID: 82   Posted (edited)

I didn't address you personally at all, nor do/did I have an attitude toward your post.

 

I did, however, correct some of the mis-impressions you suggested in your prior post re the Bluebird card.

 

The facts are, using the Amex Bluebird card with the BKK Bank New York transfer route does incur fees from BKK Bank. And, while you may think the Bluebird card is GREAT, the reality is the card has few if any advantages over other cards in terms of transferring funds to Thailand. Not to mention the fact that it can no longer be used in foreign ATMs.

 

This is just a discussion about bank cards. Let's try to keep it that way.

 

Edited by TallGuyJohninBKK
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ID: 83   Posted (edited)

15 hours ago, Pib said:

 

Well, that is indeed a big change or at least it would be a big change for me.  The only reason I ever considered possibly getting a Bluebird card (but didn't) was as a backup to my no foreign transaction fee/fee reimbursing debit cards in case they ever changed their no foreign transaction fee and/or reimbursement policy.  Because with the BlueBird card at least the Thai bank foreign card use fee was only Bt50 for AmEx cards (maybe Bt60 now) compared to Bt200.   I googled what you said about their policy change and this webpage gives a good summary I think of the foreign ATM use policy change.  http://milestomemories.boardingarea.com/bluebird-serve-international-atm/ 

 

Now although the author of above webpage initially concludes in the article it's a minor policy change, when you read the comments/feedback after the article he changes his tune.

 

So, never mind that stuff I said in other threads/posts about how a Bluebird card would be a better deal that using the Direct Express debit card which some people use to have their govt pension deposited into....the Direct Express card is still very pricey to use outside the U.S. (3% plus $3 flat fee) to get funds  but at least it works in ATMs outside the U.S.   

 

But as jdgruen said the Bluebird card does have a lot of other good features/benefits.

 

Makes me appreciate even more the couple of U.S. bank debit cards with no foreign transaction fee which also reimburse ATM fee.

 

Yes it was a bummer when AMEX Bluebird turned off the use of ATMs outside the U.S. but I already had the Bluebird Card and decided to make best use of it.  I changed my S.S. DD to Bluebird to take advantage of the Two Day Early deposit.  At the same time established an account at a local Bangkok Bank in Krabi.  Then I began using the snap to use - Bluebird on line banking to transfer funds via ACH as explained previously.  Getting my money is about 3 days at a very good exchange rate makes the inability of using the Bluebird card for ATMs a bit of a moot point.  Bangkok Bank charges nothing for ATM withdraws when I use my local branch.  And Bangkok Bank only charges me 15 Baht - if I use it at an ATM in Bkk or wherever. 

Concerning ACH funds transfer fees.  I have searched my Bluebird statements for June, July and August of this year and Zero Fees of any kind are posted.  And there are no other miscellaneous debits of any kind that can be linked to the ACH transfer in each case.  I searched my on line ledger with Bangkok Bank account and find no fees for the incoming ACH transfers. I will have to get a statement from the bank to double check that. 

One example transaction in June 2016 ... I transferred $1100 from Bluebird to Bangkok Bank in Krabi via Bangkok Bank N.Y. - The amount deposited into my Bangkok Bangkok Account was  38,278.30 Baht.    This exchange rate on this transaction and the exchange rates applied to all other of my transfers this year were in line with the published exchanged rates of daytodaydata.net (equal to or better than).    

 

In my opinion ... The AMEX Bluebird Card provides very little that 'high rollers' can already get and more so at Charles Schwab or some other investment house or bank.   So it is not likely useful to them and many will just not 'get it'... 

But for those of us who are not 'well heeled' the wide range of useful services offered by the AMEX Bluebird Card/Account are blessing for reasons stated.   I suggest to anyone on Social Security as a primary means of income to investigate AMEX Bluebird for the reasons I have mentioned in this post and other posts.  Check out ...   bluebird.com  to review the benefits and features. 

Edited by JDGRUEN
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Yea, I came close several times to signing up for a Bluebird account over the last year or so.  And the wife and I were even thinking recently about both of use getting a Bluebird account.  But the change to not permitting ATM withdrawals outside the U.S. is a total deal breaker for me.    

 

Regarding ACH transfer fees when your sending bank (or Bluebird) card does not charge any ACH sending fee and you are routing it thru the Bankgok Bank NY branch on to your in-Thailand Bangkok Bank branch you will "not" see anywhere the two fees charged by Bangkok Bank...no on your Sending account nor on your Bangkok Bank account.  That's because the fees are charges/sliced off "during the transfer and before they post"  to you Bangkok Bank account.

 

Lets' say you transfer $2,000....as the funds flow through the Bangkok Bank NY branch they slice off a $5 fee so $1995 arrive your in-Thailand Bangkok Bank branch but they have not been posted yet.  The branch then converts the funds using their TT Buying Rate in affect at the time.  For this example let's say the Bangkok Bank TT Buying Rate is Bt35.00/USD.  So, 1995 times 35 equals Bt69,825 and once again this amount has still not posted to your account yet.  Now the branch applies their 0.25% (Bt200 min, Bt500) receiving fee which in this case would incur the Bt200 min fee.  They subtract that that Bt200 fee which leaves Bt69,625 which is then posted to your account.  Those two fees will "not" be reflect/annotated anywhere.   Just to quote for the Bangkok Bank website regarding the two fees which talks about the two fees being deducted before posting to your account (i.e., fees will not be reflected on your account).

Quote

Note: Bangkok Bank’s New York Branch in the US and Bangkok Bank in Thailand will deduct fees as indicated above from the transferred amount, prior to depositing funds into your account.

 

But you can setup your account up to receive a free SMS Remittance Alert which will show the funds arriving from overseas (would have been $1995 in this example), exchange rate being used, the amount of the local 0.25% fee, and the final amount being posted to your account.   And just to reiterate those two fees will not reflected on your Sending or Receiving account statements which can fool a peson into thinking no fees were applied but indeed they were....and that also why folks can never get the personal exchange rate math to match up exactly with any of the bank's TT Buying Rates for the day....they can get close, but can't match exactly....but if taking in account the undocumented fees and deducting the two fees in the correct order a person can get an exact match to the 2nd decimal place.

 

Yea, a real shame the Bluebird card can not be used in foreign ATMs anymore...that feature combined with its other features and low to no fees made it a really good card..  It's still a good card...it's just loss of that foreign ATM feature is a biggie at least for me.   Oh well, maybe there was two much ATM fraud occurring with the card and/or the interchange fee that flows from the card-issuing bank (AmEx for the Bluebird) card to the bank issuing out the funds was determined not to be profitable enough as I expect AmEx has a special contract with the MoneyPass ATMs in the U.S. that made the interchange fee they had to pay out much less (i.e., more profitable) than when paying the standard interchange fee to banks not on the MoneyPass network.   

 

 

 

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Pib alluded to BKK Bank's specific fees for U.S. to Thailand transfers via its New York office. They have a website that specifically spells out the details

 

http://www.bangkokbank.com/BangkokBank/PersonalBanking/DailyBanking/TransferingFunds/TransferringIntoThailand/ReceivingFundsfromUSA/Pages/ReceivingFundsfromUSA.aspx

 

PS0754.jpg

 

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ID: 86   Posted

Regarding Social Security Online login, apparently Social Security will re-implement 2-factor authorization come 10 Jun 17.  A code will be sent to either your cell phone or email address.    

 

The cell number you could use before had to be a U.S. number; not an international number.

 

Before when they temporarily implemented 2FA use of your google voice number worked to receive the code as mentioned earlier in this thread....but if it don't work (but I expect it will) you can have the login code sent to your email address...don't know if your email address needs to already listed in your account.  

 

Time will tell come June.

 

https://www.ssa.gov/myaccount/message.html

Capture.JPG.cbe2b45986c2afb1f359abd0bc126f76.JPG

 

 

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ID: 87   Posted

Got an email from Social Security today that confirms and expands on what Pib posted above:


 

Quote

 

We listened to your concerns, and beginning on June 10, you can choose either your cell phone or your email address as the second way for us to identify you. Since an email address is already required to use my Social Security, everyone can continue to benefit from the features my Social Security provides.

Each time you sign in to your account, you will complete two steps:

  • Step 1: Enter your username and password.
  • Step 2: Enter the security code we send you by text message or email, depending on your choice (your cell phone provider's text message and data rates may apply).

If you do not have a text-enabled cell phone, or you do not wish to provide your cell phone number, you will need to choose your email address as a contact method so we can send you a one-time security code to access your my Social Security account. To ensure you receive the email with the one-time security code timely and it does not go into your spam or junk folder, you can add NO-REPLY @ ssa.gov to your contact list.


 

 

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ID: 88   Posted

Yea, the wife and I got the same email on 9 May since we both have social security online accounts.  

 

Just as reminder for folks, you don't have to be old and drawing a pension to get an online account...you can get it when young also/decades and decades before you start drawing a pension.   See below SSA link for more info.  

 

https://www.ssa.gov/myaccount/

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ID: 89   Posted

On 5/18/2017 at 10:29 AM, Pib said:

Yea, the wife and I got the same email on 9 May since we both have social security online accounts.  

 

Just as reminder for folks, you don't have to be old and drawing a pension to get an online account...you can get it when young also/decades and decades before you start drawing a pension.   See below SSA link for more info.  

 

https://www.ssa.gov/myaccount/

I had tried for years to open an SSA account online, literally since they stopped sending out those benefit estimate letters.  Each time at the end it said could not be done, call an agent.  I finally got an agent and he seemed quite up to par.  He went through it and was surprised that he could not open the account.  He said he didn't know why but it looks like you have to go to an actual office and they will do it with you.  OK.  No rush.  I didn't need anything yet.  So as I worked around the country I located the nearest SSA office and made a mental note to drop in.  I never did.  I tried a few more times over the months to sign up online with no success.  Now I am in Melbourne Florida and right across the freaking street from where I work everyday is the Social Security office!  For kicks, I tried to open an online account and it worked!  Too funny.  I wonder if the website was a bit picky on where you were online from?  I am a Florida resident and just couldn't create an account while in another state, coincidentally or not.  I wonder if they were a bit confused with my Dad who passed in 2006 and has the same first and last name as mine. Anyway, I have the account and the wage information they have in there looks correct.  Their retirement benefits estimator doesn't quite handle the scenario I want to check, but it is close.  I sent in one question I had and got back a canned response quoting the stuff that is already online and was of no help in clarifying anything, so I wouldn't bother submitting anything that way. 

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ID: 90   Posted

I just received a hard copy S.S. benefits estimate letter in Thailand. Second year in a row. I never asked for it. They just used my IRS filing address. I remember for many years they sent them and then they stopped. Well, they started again. 

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ID: 91   Posted

14 minutes ago, Jingthing said:

I just received a hard copy S.S. benefits estimate letter in Thailand. Second year in a row. I never asked for it. They just used my IRS filing address. I remember for many years they sent them and then they stopped. Well, they started again. 

Ha.  That's weird, especially since the push to go paperless, no checks mandatory direct deposit, etc.  Maybe overseas triggers something, or that "aliveness" check

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ID: 92   Posted

22 minutes ago, gk10002000 said:

Ha.  That's weird, especially since the push to go paperless, no checks mandatory direct deposit, etc.  Maybe overseas triggers something, or that "aliveness" check

I'm under claiming age. 

I recall reading in the news that they started mailing the paper advisories again as a general thing. 

I'd be surprised if it's only expats.

The aliveness check is more about people that are actively claiming. 

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ID: 94   Posted

29 minutes ago, Jingthing said:

Got it. I agree in general with the general idea in the link talking about " Critics note that many of the workers who will be most reliant on Social Security in retirement are least likely to have Internet access, including low-income and non-English speaking minorities. "  However, at the same time the agency ONLY does direct deposit and won't do checks so people are expected to have some online presence or internet access at some point.  Seems contradictory to keep mailing stuff.  I mean what good does the mail do if the person doesn't speak English?  Are they printing in multiple languages, or do they somehow guess or know someone isn't an english speaker? 

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ID: 95   Posted

A more current news article regarding mailing of annual statements is below.    The Reuters link in above posts is from 2014.   Also, the SSA link directly below sums it up in one paragraph

 

https://www.ssa.gov/myaccount/statement.html

Quote

We currently mail Social Security Statements (Statements) to workers age 60 and over who aren’t receiving Social Security benefits and do not yet have a my Social Securityaccount. We mail the Statements three months prior to your birthday. We issue Statements by mail in English (or in Spanish if you live in Puerto Rico). If you receive your Statement in English and would like to receive it in Spanish, or vice versa, call Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778), or visit your local Social Security office.

 

 

New Article on Mailing of Social Security Statements

http://www.cnbc.com/2017/01/11/social-security-will-cut-paper-statements--again.html

 

Quote

 

Social Security will cut paper statements — again

Wednesday, 11 Jan 2017 | 1:11 PM ETCNBC.com

Say goodbye to receiving your Social Security statements in your mailbox — yet again.

 

The Social Security Administration announced in a blog post that it would send fewer statements in the mail in an attempt to cut down costs.

 

Only individuals who are 60 and over, who aren't receiving benefits and who don't have a My Social Security account online will get paper statements. These statements detail information on your earnings, your estimated benefits, and the contributions you've paid via payroll taxes.

 

This measure will reduce the cost of processing and mailing statements by $11.3 million in the 2017 fiscal year, according to the blog post.

 

"We know that our cutbacks will affect many of you, but we have no choice," wrote Doug Walker, deputy commissioner of communications at the Social Security Administration, in his blog post.

 

This latest move marks the second time Social Security has trimmed its mailing schedule for statements.

 

Back in 2011, the agency stopped mailing its annual paper statements to save on costs. The following year, Social Security launched a web-based version of the statements, which workers can view if they sign up for a My Social Security account.

 

After a wave of criticism and a push from Congress, in September 2014the agency resumed sending paper statements to workers who aren't receiving benefits and who haven't signed up for an online account.

 

Up until now, these individuals were getting their paper documents as they turned 25, 30, 35, 40, 45, 50, 55 and 60 and over.

 

Correction: The Social Security Administration's plan to send fewer statements in the mail will save $11.3 million in fiscal 2017. A previous version misstated the amount of savings.

 


 

 

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ID: 96   Posted (edited)

20 hours ago, gk10002000 said:

I had tried for years to open an SSA account online, literally since they stopped sending out those benefit estimate letters.  Each time at the end it said could not be done, call an agent.  I finally got an agent and he seemed quite up to par.  He went through it and was surprised that he could not open the account.  He said he didn't know why but it looks like you have to go to an actual office and they will do it with you.  OK.  No rush.  I didn't need anything yet.  So as I worked around the country I located the nearest SSA office and made a mental note to drop in.  I never did.  I tried a few more times over the months to sign up online with no success.  Now I am in Melbourne Florida and right across the freaking street from where I work everyday is the Social Security office!  For kicks, I tried to open an online account and it worked!  Too funny.  I wonder if the website was a bit picky on where you were online from?  I am a Florida resident and just couldn't create an account while in another state, coincidentally or not.  I wonder if they were a bit confused with my Dad who passed in 2006 and has the same first and last name as mine. Anyway, I have the account and the wage information they have in there looks correct.  Their retirement benefits estimator doesn't quite handle the scenario I want to check, but it is close.  I sent in one question I had and got back a canned response quoting the stuff that is already online and was of no help in clarifying anything, so I wouldn't bother submitting anything that way. 

 

The wife and I both opened our Social Security Online Accounts while living in Thailand.   Opening my online account went easy enough although but it was picky about my address which is a military APO address here in Thailand...I'm a military retiree.  When opening the SS online account I had already been living in Thailand around 6 to 7 years, to includes filing my federal tax returns with this APO address.

 

One of the obstacles you must get through to open an online account is for the address you enter to match the current address the SSA or Experian has on file for you.  If you enter the wrong address after three tries it locks you out for 24 or 72 hours...I forget which one.  Now once that temporary locks goes away you can try again...can't get the address to match then it will probably permanently lock you out....you have to call the SSA to get it unlocked so you can try again. 

 

The SSA uses your current address as reported by the IRS from your federal tax return filing and/or Experian Credit Report Agency.   Expect your address is Experian is used if the IRS has no address info.   Also, I pretty sure you must have a "U.S. address" to open your account (military APO address is OK also), and not an international address.  Now once you get the account open and possibly change your address to an international address that is fine...your account stays open...the U.S. address thing is just to initially open/activate the account.

 

Now when we tried to open the wife's online account using our APO address it kept rejecting.  We have been married for decades and filing joint tax returns for decades so the address in the IRS database for her should be the same as mine.   After trying several times over about a week and getting permanently locked out,her and I called the SSA to work the issue.  

 

The first rep we got was just an A-hole...really couldn't help.  A few months later we called back and got a "great" rep.  The rep unlocked the block and the wife tried again with the rep still online...once again, entering the APO address would result in a lock out.  The rep said that's strange since they first use IRS address info for the individual and since we file a joint return the APO address should be reflected for her although the rep can not see what address is reflected.  She said try an address you lived at before using the APO address.  So we tried our living address before moving to Thailand and it worked....got her account activated.

 

Later we got an credit reports from Experian for both the wife and I.  For me it showed our APO address and my most recent address.  But for the wife it did not show the APO address as the most recent but instead our address before moving to Thailand which was around a half dozen years earlier.   Just outdated address info in her Experian credit report.

 

Edited by Pib
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BANGKOK 27 May 2017 01:50
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